OLPC or One Laptop Per Child’s dream of coming up with a super cheap (read $100) laptop may not have had the type of success that Nicholas Negroponte had dreamt of when he got started with the project but he definitely isn’t giving up yet. However, the entire personal computing segment underwent a paradigm shift in the last one year or so with the advent of tablet PCs. Negroponte too had announced the XO-3 tablet concept though he is also back to his usual lofty goals which no doubt are excellent on paper.
Like the latest that has emerged of the XO-3 tablet point out the tablet to have a rubberized coating together with the option of solar charging along with satellite Internet connectivity. While the primary role of the rubber coating will be to impart protection to the tablet, solar charging options along with a satellite internet modem will no doubt be a boon in developing countries where both power and reliable internet connection is often not accorded the top most priority.
Among the other details that has emerged of the XO-3 tablet is that it will have provisions to get attached to an external keyboard and will also include features that are pretty much common on almost all regular tablet PCs. These include an USB 2.0 port, a camera built along the top of the screen and integrated into the bezel, a microphone inside of the lower bezel, and a headphone jack along the side.
As for the display, a spin-off of Pixel Qi’s hybrid screen might find application here though there is still some debate going on internally on this. OLPC’s choice is to go for a display with a dual functionality of an energy saving e-ink mode as well as a normal LCD mode that can display full-motion video. An obvious power saving method can be to make the display to absorb ambient light to brighten the screen.
Negroponte also revealed the XO-3 tablet will have an ARM based processor and will run either the Google Android or a different Linux based operating system. Windows 8 has been ruled out as Microsoft had refused support for ARM chips with the software during the time the XO-3 was under development.
The XO-3 tablet has been in the making since 2009 but should be ready for a market debut by 2012. Lastly, coming to the price, Negroponte is sicking to the sub $100 price tag though it remains to be seen if some of the exotic features will form part of the base model or may be offered as an optional extra in some of the higher speced version.